illustration of concrete pavers
Illustration: Jason Lee
Pro Advice: Roger Cook, TOH landscape contractor, says, "For DIYers, I recommend the running-bond pattern shown here. It requires the fewest cuts, so it goes down the fastest."
Order Materials
Pavers: Manufacturer handouts specify the number of pavers per square foot. Get 10-15 percent extra so that you'll have enough for cut pieces or spares.
Sand and Paver Base (substrate): A cubic yard covers 108 square feet 3 inches deep. If you order by the ton, have the supplier do the conversion.

Set the Blocks
1. Excavate. Dig out any loam or fill to reach stable, undisturbed subsoil.
2. Lay the base. Spread and compact the paver base, followed by a 1-inch layer of concrete sand. (Poorly draining clay soils may require extra base materials to encourage drainage.)
3. Set the edge. Nail down a metal or plastic edging to give pavers a firm support that will hold them in place.
4. Lay the pieces. Set the pavers snug to one another in a pattern that minimizes the number of cut pieces.
5. Fill the joints. Spread mason's sand over the surface, and work it into the joints with a vibrating plate compactor.

Should you seal your pavers?
Pavers will survive fine without a sealer, but applying one is a good precaution to prevent staining, mold growth, ant colonies, weeds, or loose joint sand. Sealing is essential around pools to keep grit out of pumps. Clean pavers first, using a degreaser if necessary, and allow to dry. Mist on sealer with a garden sprayer, following the manufacturer's directions. You'll need to reseal every couple of years.
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